February 26, 2004 
Front Page

Affordable housing concerns key development workshop

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The "big box." That has become the slang for large commercial stores covering thousands of square feet popping up across the country.

Wal-Mart. K-Mart. Target. Home Depot. Sam's Club. And others.

Could they come here? Soon? And if so, what is the best way for such development to happen, both in terms of commercial and residential space?

Those are just some of the questions addressed by the town council in a workshop Tuesday.

Mayor Ross Aragon requested the special meeting to discuss growth - specifically affordable housing.

"We have to think of other mountain towns," Aragon said, naming Breckenridge, Vail and Aspen where the running joke is that millionaires used to live there, until the billionaires ran them off. Working people in those communities, Aragon said, are forced to commute because they can't afford housing prices.

"I am not saying that will happen here," he said. "I'm saying it could happen here if we don't have some kind of plan to address this."

Recently, said Town Administrator Mark Garcia, interest has increased regarding the development of several large parcels of land within the town boundaries. This includes a 134-unit condominium development under planning commission review, a new 108-room hotel complex planned near the river downtown, a possible major expansion of the grocery store in Pagosa Country Center and the development of the Sawmill site at the junction of U.S. 84 and U.S. 160.

Possible development on the Sawmill site and other large sites in the area would probably hinge on some type of "big box" store, he said. If even two of those projects happened, it would double or possibly triple the town's building permit statistics from a year before and have a large impact on the town's economy.

"My two cents from the activity we've seen lately is that we could be coming out of the recession," Garcia said. The result could be another decade of huge growth in the area, making now the time to be proactive and consider addressing development issues.

Aragon said the time has come to focus on ensuring Pagosa Springs remains a place where residents, members of the work force and future generations can afford to live within the town boundaries.

Along those lines, Town Planner Tamra Allen handed out information on land use development regulations that, if implemented, could help the town address housing issues. These included several methods for encouraging development of a certain number of affordable housing units for each new development - residential, commercial or both - in the community. This could be encouraged either through incentives or ordinances, Allen said.

Council member Stan Holt said adding regulations could result in the companies not wanting to build in Pagosa, something that would keep jobs away.

Balance is the key, Allen said.

Council member Darrell Cotton said they were possibly putting the cart before the horse. "Before we force something within the corporate limits, we need to see where we are and then make a plan." He suggested doing some type of housing inventory to include the whole county before attempting to craft new legislation.

"I don't think we have a problem necessarily," he said. "I don't think we need to talk in town. If we restrict it to town, we're making a huge mistake. We're all in this together." Although recent annexations have been mostly commercial, he added, eventually some large residential tracts would have to be annexed, changing the housing completely.

Both Garcia and Allen suggested council members also begin to think about infrastructure costs.

With the current state budget crunch, Garcia said, dollars for roads and other infrastructure are drying up, and fast. Future improvements are landing squarely in the laps of local governments.

Allen said the intersection at Great West Avenue and Goldmine Drive is a good example. The intersection absorbs traffic from both commercial and residential properties. Several recent commercial developments there have fallen just short of triggering the town's impact fees for infrastructure improvements.

"The town doesn't have money to fix it, the state doesn't have money to fix it," she said.

On all counts, the council agreed, cooperation between local governments is needed. They directed Garcia to schedule a meeting with the Archuleta County commissioners to discuss growth issues, housing and infrastructure.

Cotton suggested again that some type of study to outline the problem should be complete before charging ahead.

Aragon asked Garcia to prepare a resolution regarding the topics discussed for the council to consider at the next town council meeting. That meeting is set for March 2 at 5 p.m. at Town Hall.


Illegal alien charged in cocaine sales, feds notified

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A Pagosa Springs man in his 30s has been charged with two counts of selling cocaine.

Detective Scott Maxwell of the Pagosa Springs Police Department said an investigation was initiated when a citizen approached an officer with information about the possible sale of cocaine. Department personnel followed up and eventually gathered enough evidence to charge the man with two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance.

The man was arrested Feb. 18. Maxwell declined to release a name, saying the information could jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

The suspect in the case was determined to be a Mexican National illegally residing in the United States. Maxwell said the Immigration and Naturalization Service has been notified, and a federal hold has been placed on the suspect.

If convicted of drug charges, the suspect will be deported as an aggravated felon. Should he ever return to the United States, he could face up to 20 years in prison.


Six file for health board;one race seen

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The chance to file as a candidate in the May 4 special district election is fading fast. In fact, the opportunity ends at the close of business tomorrow.

All candidates for Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Pagosa Fire Protection District and the Upper San Juan Health Service District must file affidavits by Feb. 27.

So far, the competition is nearly nonexistent.

According to files at the Archuleta County Clerks office, only one person, Windsor Chacey, has filed for the PAWS board. Three seats are open. In the fire protection district race, two seats are up for election. Only the incumbents, Debbie Tully and Richard Moseley had filed by Feb. 25 at 10 a.m.

Six seats are up for grabs on the Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors. The only board member not facing a challenge is Patty Tillerson. Six electors have filed self-nomination forms, four more since last week.

Adding their names to the list are Richard Blide and Dean Sanna, both sitting board members appointed in the last year. Both are running for two-year terms. Challenger Robert Scott filed his forms Feb. 24 for a two-year seat.

James C. Pruitt has thrown his name in the hat for a four-year seat. Bob Goodman and Jeffrey Schmidt submitted their forms earlier. Goodman is running for a four-year term. Schmidt has opted for one of the three two-year slots.

Altogether, that puts two people on the ballot for three four-year openings and four people for three two-year slots, making the district's race for the two-year seats the only one among special districts with any true competition so far.

In order to become an official candidate, an elector of the district must file a self-nomination and acceptance form with that district's designated election official.

A copy of the self-nomination and acceptance form must then be provided to the county clerk's office in the Archuleta County Courthouse downtown. The clerk's office is responsible for informing candidates of campaign spending requirements. The entire process must be completed by tomorrow.

Anyone wishing to be a write-in candidate has until March 1 to file an affidavit of intent with the election official.


Water panel takes first look at rate overhaul

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board of directors got a glimpse this week of how the district's rate structure is likely to be overhauled this spring.

Tuesday night was the first time the board revisited the rate-structure issue since its Dec. 9, 2003 meeting, when Carrie Campbell, district general manager, told directors, "In some way, it's going to have to change."

During a briefing from district staff, the board was presented information reiterating the basis for a modest increase to water and wastewater rates for the second time in less than a year.

Shellie Tressler, district administrative assistant, explained spikes in district operating costs for 2004 ranging from 6 percent (chemical purchases) to 550 percent (water tank maintenance) are the main catalysts.

Another factor in the need to keep pace with growing district expenses, said Tressler, relates to revenues from water sales, which were lower last year than anticipated.

It's a factor that poses a bittersweet scenario, said Tressler, because lower revenues are an indication that district customers remain diligent in their water-conservation habits.

Lastly, Tressler indicated the fixed cost increases, potential rate changes and revenue shortfalls had been factored into this year's district budget.

"We leaned way back with the budget forecast because we knew these were going to resurface," said Tressler. "But we still needed to define the mechanics of the situation, which is what we're getting into now."

In response, "It's obvious with all the expense increases, we're going to have to increase rates," stated board member Don Brinks, summarizing majority opinion shortly before directors reached a consensus to direct staff to move forward with the development of a new rate schedule.

Though subject to refinements, the scenario the board viewed as most favorable Tuesday night - if adopted this spring - would up the current monthly service charge by 50 cents and include "rate increases to the usage tiers in increasing amounts for higher usage."

In short, "It's keeping in line with our original policy of 'the more you use, the more you pay,'" said Tressler.

The current rate structure, adopted last summer, includes a monthly service charge of $5.50 and "usage tier" charges based on the "more-use equals higher-charges" premise.

For every thousand gallons up to 8,000 gallons, the district charges $1.85 per thousand gallons.

For usage between 8,000-20,000 gallons, a charge of $3.70 is in effect for every thousand gallons, and usage beyond 20,000 gallons carries a price tag of $4.50 for every thousand gallons.

For wastewater/sewer service, the district charges a flat rate of $15.50.

The proposed changes would result in a monthly service charge of $6 for water service and the following usage tier charges:

- $2.10 for every thousand gallons up to 8,000 gallons (14-percent increase)

- $4.25 for every thousand gallons between 8,000 and 20,000 gallons (15-percent increase)

- $5.20 for every thousand gallons exceeding 20,000 gallons (16-percent increase).

In addition, the wastewater charge would increase to $17.50, a 13-percent increase over the current rate.

How would such increases affect the pocketbooks of district customers?

An example listed in the proposal outline indicates the combined increase for customers who pay for water (8,000 gallons usage) and wastewater services would amount to $4.50 per month (13 percent).

Another example indicates a commercial water customer using 129,000 gallons (based on the assignment of four multiple-family equivalent units) would experience an $69.90 increase (15 percent).

While the scenario will continue to be reviewed in the coming weeks, according to Campbell, the board is not expected to take official action on the proposed changes until April, and public commentary on the subject will be accepted until then.

Any new rates adopted in April, said Campbell, will most likely take effect in June, while the subsequent charge adjustments will appear on district billing statements mailed in July.

Inside The Sun


Legal protocol questions spur health board debate

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District spent $28,000 in legal fees in 2003, $18,000 more than budgeted.

Debra Brown addressed the issue with the board Feb. 17.

According to the bills, she said, the attorneys, Collins, Cockrel and Cole, of Denver, had answered questions for both the public and board members during the year. The minimum charge was about $100.

Members of the audience and the board agreed that when members of the public call the attorney, those calls should probably be forwarded back to the district. Charges for that should not be the responsibility of the district.

The question of board members was a little stickier. Apparently, in the last several weeks, at least two, possibly three board members have called the attorney over the same issue.

One board member read a copy of the letter received from the attorney addressing a particular question in an open board meeting Feb. 10. The others did not, although they dispute some of the information in the letter read after their own conversations with the attorney.

Brown asked the board to consider a policy that would direct the board to gather for a conference call to address legal issues when necessary, or at least share information received among the rest of the board. Another suggestion was to appoint one member of the board to direct questions to the attorney instead of leaving it open to anyone.

"If we're going to call," Brown said. "I think we should all benefit from the advice we get."

Jim Knoll, from the audience, said it could look like censorship if some board members were restricted from calling the attorney, while others weren't.

Another member of the audience, Nan Rowe, said because the board was the client, each member should have access to the attorney, especially in view of possible liabilities.

Board member Ken Morrison said he was told in a call to the attorney made following the Jan. 27 meeting the same topic had already been discussed with the executive director. Morrison said he had not received any information on the director's call which could have saved him from making his own.

Several people from the audience said the issue at hand went back to personal relationships among board members, not dollars, relationships that should be addressed one-on-one instead of in a board meeting.

The discussion was eventually tabled. Brown said she would provide board members a clearer breakdown of the bills for their inspection prior to future discussion to perhaps better pinpoint the problem.


Memorial fund for Roman family

A fund has been established to assist the family of Michael C. Roman, of Pagosa Springs, who died in a Feb. 9 auto accident in New Mexico.

Donations can be made to the Michael C. Roman Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 2830, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


SJOC scholarship competition opens

The process is underway for selection of the 2004 San Juan Outdoor Club scholarship program recipients.

The club was established as an organization devoted to providing outdoor recreational and service opportunities for its members, such as backpacking, hiking, camping, cross country and downhill skiing, and other such activities; and also to provide education and training to enhance the outdoor experience.

Because the club promotes and encourages protection and maintenance of the environment, and expansion of recreational opportunities for all of the community, the scholarship program was begun in 2000 for a graduating senior in Archuleta County whose vision and career plans fit the SJOC mission.

Scholarship funding ($500 in 2000, $1,000 in 2001, 2002 and three for $1,000 in 2003) is provided by member contributions, profits from Sports Swap and money received from helping register ATVs during hunting season.

Scholarship applicants must be registered and attend an accredited college or university within the nest year, meet scholarship requirements, write an essay around the theme of contributing to the community and the environment, provide letters of support, and be interviewed by members of the scholarship committee - Patty Blide, Sara Scott and Windsor Chacey.

Past winners have been Seth Kurt-Mason, Patrick Riley, Mathew Ford, Sara Aupperle, Clayton Mastin and Jason Schutz.

Top candidates, as determined by selection committee screening, will be interviewed in person in April and winners will be announced at graduation May 23.


9Health Fair returns to Pagosa April 3

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The SUN

The 25th annual 9Health Fair will be held throughout the month of April statewide. Here in Pagosa it will happen April 3 at the high school.

9Health Fair provides health education and basic health screenings to individuals 18 and over throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

Over the past 24 years, as a result of fair participation, thousands of lives have been saved through early detection, prevention and dynamic educational programming statewide.

Statewide participation in last year's 9Health Fair was tremendous, touching more lives than ever, with record-breaking attendance. Located at 164 sites throughout Colorado, the 9Health Fair provided health education and health checks to approximately 85,000 individuals in both rural and urban communities. With a 4.5-percent increase from the previous year, 9Health Fair continues to be the largest community health program in Colorado.

Attending the fair is not considered a substitute for an annual physical examination. Fair data indicates between 8,000 and 9,000 participants learned of a previous unknown health concern at 9Health Fair in 2003 and were referred to their primary care provider for further evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

Anne Cosby, executive director for 9Health Fair, reveals, "Many of our constituents use the 9Health Fair as their only chance during the year to obtain health screenings and talk or visit with a health care professional. Citizens across the state greatly rely on our ability to deliver these health-related opportunities, provide limited health access in their communities and rely on our educational services."

In an effort to reach members in the community who have little or no access to medical services and are in need of assistance financially, over 800 blood screenings were provided free of charge through a voucher system.

Basic screenings at all locations include height, weight, body mass index, vision, blood pressure, and colorectal screening kits. Optional screenings at the Pagosa site include hearing, oral screening, body fat measurement, body in balance, and breast exam.

Optional blood screening includes a 32-component blood analysis including coronary risk ratio, thyroid, diabetes, full lipid panel, liver and kidney function. During the same blood analysis, men over the age of 40 can receive a prostate cancer screening. In 2003, 1,400 medical critical/alert calls were made statewide. Participants receive follow-up postcards encouraging them to seek further evaluation and medical treatment if necessary.

The 9Health Fair continues to be an institution in communities across Colorado. It's goal is to be a leader in preventive health information and to bring attention to crucial issues that are at the forefront of the medical community.

Cosby notes, "Hand-in-hand with the medical community, we have saved hundreds of lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical claims over the past 24 years through early detection and preventative health screenings. We value the relationships with medical and nonmedical organizations in the Colorado community that have helped us provide the best resources, medical information and health education to the people in the Rocky Mountain region."

The 9Health Fair is the largest and most successful health fair in the country. "We are proud to be endorsed by both the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Health and Hospital Association," said Cosby. "Support from Colorado physicians is crucial to our success."

Fair organizers in Pagosa have begun to make phone calls to last year's volunteers. Over 200 individuals are needed to handle the more than 700 participants who are expected to make the 9Health Fair part of their health practice.

If you would like to take part in this event, in either a medical or nonmedical capacity, call Sharee Grazda, site coordinator, at 731-0666.


Junior high CSAP testing dates listed

Pagosa Springs students are again preparing for the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) tests.

They have started practicing for the reading, writing, math and science tests coming in late March and early April.

The junior high school staff, for example, has announced plans to do everything possible to help children do well on the tests. They will provide free nutritional snacks on test dates; teachers will prepare students for the tests by exposing them to concepts and test formats; and staff will give the tests on days and at times considered optimal for testing well.

Despite their own efforts to help the children perform well, teachers say they need the parents' help in making sure the student is not absent on the testing dates because it is difficult to do makeup tests during school time in an environment conducive to testing as the one on test day.

Also, they ask that parents feed their children nutritious meals on testing days and make sure they get plenty of rest before the tests. And, they ask, call the school if you have any questions about CSAP testing.

The seventh-grade tests will be 8 a.m.-noon each day March 30 through April 1.

Eighth-grade tests will be administered 8 a.m.-noon March 25, 30, 31 and April 1.


Local soldier returns from Iraq, party Saturday at community center

Friends and family of Robert and Katie Gomez will gather at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Saturday to welcome Specialist Robert Gomez, home on leave from his tour of duty in Iraq.

It is also Robert's birthday, so there is much to celebrate. Gomez has been assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Robert's family - parents James and Jeanette, and wife Katie - also invite all other local servicemen and women and their families to join the celebration.

The party includes a potluck dinner and dance, with music provided by Royal Flush from Farmington. The family will provide the main meat dish and guests are asked to bring a side dish or a dessert. Festivities begin at 5 p.m..

Gomez, a helicopter engine mechanic, was due home today, one day short of one year since his unit deployed to Iraq.

Prior to his enlistment, Gomez was an employee in the press room at The SUN.




Dear Editor:

Well, our sage county commissions have done it again. Just when you think they could never one-up themselves, they surprise everyone. I cannot believe the inconsistencies and seemingly special interest politics that occurred over the Cat Creek B&B denial.

I am in full agreement with the folks living out there. I wouldn't want a commercial business in my neighborhood either. That is not the issue here. The issue is how the decision was handled and rationalized.

First, the commissioners ignored their own legal counsel, who said, "The Board has the specific job of applying its code, and cannot apply extraneous rules or regulations." In regard to the issue of covenant enforcement concerning the B&B, the county attorney said, " ... it is not the board's concern."

Makes you wonder why he wastes his time sitting in on the meetings. Mr. Goldman stated, "The Board of County Commissioners has only the authority that is granted to it by the state Legislature." I would add to that statement, "granted to it by the state Legislature, or assumed by the board," because that's exactly what they effectively did in this case. In my mind's eye, that's a pretty big leap in legislative posturing. If I were the B&B, I'd be asking some serious questions at a much higher level.

Now, ponder the rationalization of the decision:

Mr. Downey: "We speak of compatibility, but these sorts of changes are not compatible, in my mind, with single family usage."

Mr. Ecker: is not in favor "of commercial businesses in the middle of people's lives."

Excuse me: Aren't these the same two guys who let three asphalt plants and a concrete batch plant be built next to subdivisions and on the river. Now that is truly a fine example of compatibility.

A friend of mine asked me, "Doesn't one of the guys who allowed those plants work in the construction business, and couldn't that be special interest politics and a conflict of interest?"

I told him absolutely no. That sort of stuff only occurs on the national political level. I assured him that would never happen here in little ole Pagosa Springs ... would it?

Remember folks, there is an election coming in November. Remember to exercise your privilege and responsibility to vote - please!

Roy K. Boutwell

Shot in the arm

On Feb. 17, the Archuleta County Commissioners unanimously voted to reject the conditional use permit for a bed and breakfast to be established in the middle the Four Corners Vacation Properties Subdivision.

The planning commission had recommended approval of the conditional use permit, even after receiving letters of protest from the majority of property owners. During the planning commission public meeting in January, opposition to the permit was basically cut short leaving us extremely frustrated.

Although instructed by the county attorney that the commissioners were not to give any consideration to codes of covenants and restrictions, I feel they (the commissioners) listened attentively to all of our concerns at the public meeting on Feb. 3, even as we struggled to reword our concerns to omit reference to CC&Rs. We were basically told that CC&Rs are only enforceable via a homeowners' association and the courts. This left us very skeptical of being able to be successful in stopping the unwanted change to our neighborhood that would be brought about if the permit were granted.

The commissioners' action in denying the permit was a shot in the arm for renewed belief that not everything has a price tag, it also proved to me that, while the Community Plan is not fully implemented, our elected officials acted in accord with the principals of that plan by considering the existing residential nature of our subdivision (for the past 26 years) and choosing to let it remain as such. My neighbors and I are eternally grateful.

Donna Clemison

A plan, not a wall

Dear Editor:

The problem is not "The Passion of Christ" but Israel versus Palestine.

The old debate of "Who killed Christ?" will be in the news for a few days or weeks. Christian theology says that all men are guilty and that Christ, the ultimate Paschal Lamb, died for all of us: Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, nonbeliever.

There are many great Jewish people alive today and throughout history. The Holocaust was a great tragedy. What is going on in the Holy Land today is a great tragedy.

The issue of today is, what is going on in the Middle East and how do we defuse it? In psychology we are told to listen to what people are saying and respond to their perception whether we feel it is right or wrong.

Osama Bin Laden and his various followers, whom we have labeled terrorists, have clearly stated that a big issue and basis for their holy war is what appears to be the blind support that the United States gives to Israel.

The latest manifestation of the subjugation of the Palestinian people is the wall Israel is erecting to cut off the West Bank from Israel. The wall is conveniently expropriating farm land and water resources that Palestinians need for their economic survival and eventual nation. Israel is the biggest recipient of U.S. financial and military assistance. When the Israeli army helicopters execute a "selected assassination," killing a Palestinian leader and innocent civilian bystanders, they do so with weapons made in the USA.

The U.S. military has a name for the war going on in Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is called "asymmetrical warfare." Roadside bombs and suicide attacks are the weapons of choice for those who have no tanks, helicopters, night-vision goggles or flack jackets.

The 10 Commandments of the Torah are pretty clear. Christ's mandate to love (respect) your enemy as you love (respect) yourself and to take care of the widows and orphans and unemployed and those without health insurance is pretty clear also.

"If you want peace work for justice" is more than a Roman Catholic slogan. It is the truth. The Middle East needs a Marshall Plan (Powell Plan) more than it needs a wall.

Israel needs to support a viable and economically stable Palestine. The U.S. needs to support a viable and economically stable Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether it was an oil grab gone awry or a strike against "terrorism," we went into there and now we have to pay the price and it is not a price of blood from our army or guardsmen and women.

If we are going to fight terrorism we need to ask why the terrorists are so angry, committed. Could it be the economy" or an unjust political/economic system?

It is time to look at the justice side of this equation not the availability of oil or the strength of the Zionist lobby.

Raymond P. Finney


Dear Editor,

I feel compelled to clear up the misinformation in Patty Tillerson's last letter. Or should I say newspaper column, as they seem to appear with weekly regularity. I refer to her comments about community based versus for-profit health services.

Ten months ago, I tried to explain to Patty that our present medical healthcare system was broken, out of date and could not deliver modern quality care. I was not able to get her to grasp the idea of a modern system. Obviously she still does not understand. I am sure her heart is in the right direction; but my 25 years experience as a physician and administrator in a large healthcare system tells me her thinking is wrong and that you and your family's health will pay the price.

Any plan that gives care locally and with local providers is called "community based." Also, no one has suggested a "for-profit" system. The complexity and economics of modern medicine calls for the merging of public and private sectors to increase the quality of medical care and to get the most benefits for your tax money. Managed care and government regulations have conspired to make small clinics - public or private - struggle to exist. Their smallness certainly makes it economically difficult to continue to upgrade and improve care. Hence, they are failing nationwide.

The solution is to merge them and get economy of scale. I can guarantee that no one will get rich off this kind of rural merger. But patients will get better care.

No one wants to see our community lose the Mary Fisher Clinic or our EMS. No plan that I can imagine would ever think of harming them. They have to be the foundation of any new healthcare system. But, our local providers must be included. The only way to do this is to merge the two systems. This is called synergism and will give us so much more.

Continuing the present method using taxpayer money to compete against a private clinic next door makes no sense. It duplicates personnel, equipment and wastes money in competition that could go toward modernization and treating patients. Presently the two clinics compete with each other for paying patients which causes Medicaid and uninsured patients to be slowly left behind.

In other words, our tax money should not be going to help a "public" clinic compete with a private clinic for fully-funded patients. It should be going toward the treatment of patients who would not otherwise be treated; and toward the modernization of our healthcare system.

I have tried to explain this to the present board. But I seem not to be able to penetrate the thinking of a select majority. And with the incredible turnover of the board, it seems that I would have to be explaining on a frequent basis.

But I do agree with Patty on one item: There is an election coming up soon and you, the voter, will finally have a forum in which you will be heard. You will have a chance to vote for candidates for six board seats.

Please make sure they have real business, financial and medical knowledge. And most importantly, that they have a vision for your future healthcare.

James L Knoll lll

DNA tests?

Dear Editor:

And so, President Bush will back a constitutional amendment making a marriage license available to a couple that includes a man and a women, exclusively. So how will the federal government determine who is a man and who is a woman? Bush's own daughter was able to obtain a false ID card, so I guess it would not be hard to falsify paper documents. Will we need federal agents posted at every court house to peek under skirts and unzip zippers? Or will they be taking blood samples?

Years ago, when the Olympic committee was concerned about the true sex of some of those Russian female athletes who looked more like Arnold Schwarzenegger than Maria Shriver, they used saliva to test the DNA. As we all know, men have a sex chromosome pair of XY and women have XX.

In the name of protecting the sanctimony of marriage, do we really want the federal government to have our DNA samples on file?

Given the many things tax money should be spent on - healthcare, public transportation, non-diseased food supply, clean drinking water, national security - do we really want to spend tax money paying for DNA tests to verify sex?

And what about those few people, like my endocrinology professor, who have XXY. Doctors and her parents decided that it would be better for this child to be a deformed female than to be deformed male, so they surgically made him/her into a her. That was over 50 years ago. We now know that XXY, called Klinfelters Syndrome, occurs in one out of 700 males and the doctors leave them males. Does this new rule mean that none of them can never marry?

Seriously, how will this new amendment be enforced? What's to stop states from issuing civil union licenses to all couples? No mention of marriage, no interference from the FBI.

Ellen Rolig

Need for zoning

Dear Editor:

The SUN front page article of Feb. 19 concerning the Cat Creek B&B issue is just another affirmation of why Archuleta County needs effective zoning laws even if Commissioner Bill Downey "heartily disagrees" with Chairman Mamie Lynch's comment, "If we had zoning, this would never have come about."

No doubt, this will be a legitimate and continual point of public discourse since Mr. Downey fervently desires to retain his commissioner seat in November's election.

Regardless, I must congratulate all three of our county commissioners for unanimously voting disapproval of the B&B venture - especially Commissioner Alden Ecker.

From this voter's coffee shop seat, it seemed almost out of character for Mr. Ecker to state that he understands the concerns of nearby residents and that the establishment of a commercial undertaking in a residential area "would certainly interfere with their welfare" and he is not in favor of establishing "commercial businesses in the middle of peoples' lives."

No doubt, this convenient and noteworthy change of heart can only indicate that it must be an election year.

Personally, I cannot see what Commissioner Ecker could be worried about. Nobody has surfaced to take his $50,000 job this November - yet.

Jim Sawicki

Know their stand

Dear Editor:

Tomorrow is the deadline to file for a position on the Upper San Juan Health Service District board of directors and soon the campaign will begin.

I ask you to find out the philosophy of each of the candidates and then answer with your votes the following:

"Will my vote guarantee continuation of the quality of services currently available under the umbrella of our health services district?"

The accomplishments of this past year and our future plans for additional services will be in jeopardy unless you elect a board of directors whose only interest is service to this community, rather than service to special interests.

I end with this from Robert F. Kennedy in 1968:

"Let us be clear at the outset that we will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We cannot measure national spirit by the Dow Jones average nor national achievement by the gross national product. The gross national product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile."

Patty Tillerson


Alexavierah Martinez

Alexavierah Jade Martinez, infant daughter of Audrey Andrea Martinez and Jeffrey Alan Stanley, was born and died on Feb. 24, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango.

Services have tentatively been scheduled as follows:

Recitation of the Rosary on Friday, Feb. 27, 2004, and Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004.

Both services will be at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and will be officiated by the Rev. John Bowe. Interment will follow in St. Frances Cemetery.


Eugene Schick

Eugene M. Schick, a longtime Pagosa Springs resident and a Colorado native, passed away Feb. 19, 2004, at his home.

Eugene was born Nov. 4, 1925, in Denver to Joseph and Dorothy Miller Schick. He graduated from Keenesburg High School in 1943 after which he entered the United State Marine Corps. He served in the South Pacific during World War II.

After discharge from the service, he married Jacquelyn M. Kern in Keenesburg. Before moving to Pagosa Springs, he was a dairy farmer in Keenesburg. In February 1955, he and Jackie moved to Pagosa and owned and managed Sunset Ranch. Throughout the years, he worked for the Colorado State Highway Department and also worked as a surveyor and in other construction-related fields.

He is survived by his wife, Jackie; a son, Greg (Dena) of Pagosa Springs; a daughter, Kathy (Tom) O'Donnell of Southport, N.C.; and a brother, Joseph (Bobbie) Schick Jr.; two grandsons, Brad Schick of Durango and Matt Schick of Grand Rapids, Mich.; seven step-grandchildren - Amy Potts, Britney Best, Brian and Lindsay Pergande, all of Colorado, Peter Pergande of Cincinnati, Ohio, Tommy O'Connell of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Matt O'Donnell of Memphis, Tenn. - and seven step-great-grandchildren - Elias and Corey Pergande, Ashley and Ella Potts, Jocelyn, Kayleigh and Colin O'Donnell; numerous nieces and nephews; Peg Schick; and two sisters-in-law, Georgene Abbott and Sevella Geilert. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Duane Schick.

He received his 50-year pin as a member of the Brighton Masonic Lodge in 1997. He was a member of Keenesburg Methodist Church and the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce. His primary interest was spending time with his family and many friends in a myriad of activities.

He and Jackie traveled extensively and he was proud that he had visited all 50 states. His favorite pastimes were golfing and hunting. He was an avid sports fan and followed his sons' and grandsons' participation in high school and college football, basketball and baseball. He also enjoyed local high school sports.

Contributions, in lieu of flowers, can be made to the Schick Family Scholarship Fund established in Gene's name at Citizens Bank. A memorial service for Mr. Schick was held Monday, Feb. 23, 2004 at Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs.


Imogene Turpin

Imogene Turpin, of Pagosa Springs, died at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2004. She was 76 years old.

Imogene was born Nov. 26, 1927, in Childress, Texas, to James Ervin and Ester Mae Roberts Niccum. She married Virgil Herman Turpin in Levelland, Texas, on Aug. 4, 1942.

She enjoyed her role as wife, mother and homemaker and had served as president of the Las Animas County Rehabilitation Center in 1982-83.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Edna Mae Smelley; two brothers, Cecil Niccum and R.L. Niccum and her grandson, Wallace Petty.

She is survived by her husband, Virgil, of Pagosa Springs; daughter and son-in-law Betty and James McCoy of Bunnell, Fla; daughter and son-in-law Sandra and Larry Ujhely of Bunnell; son and daughter-in-law, T. Ken and Sharon Turpin of Alamosa; a brother, Allen Niccum of Clovis, N.M., 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Visitation was 4-6 p.m. Feb. 20, 2004, at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options. Services were 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, 2004 in Lewis Street Church of Christ. Interment followed in Hilltop Cemetery. Pastor Carl Lungstrom officiated the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.


Community News


Senior News

Get rubbed the right way at senior center

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We are very pleased to announce that we will have a massage therapist here at the Center 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays starting March 2 to work on our seniors.

Beverlee Brown is fresh from Utah and massage therapy school and wants to give back to her new community. The first week she will do reflexology, the second week will be chair massage and for the third and fourth weeks she will bring the table and do shiatsu and lymphatic drainage. You will not have to take off clothes for these treatments, but you will enjoy them. Be sure to come in and experience the benefits of massage!

Old George remembers

"During a dinner with friends recently the conversation turned to the diets, the best food to eat and how much to eat. Several people marveled that I most often cleaned my entire plate of food.

"When I was young, a balanced meal was the one you carried from the cook stove to the table without spilling! I was 12 years old before I even heard about proteins, carbohydrates and so on. I was admonished at every meal to clean up my plate because there were starving children in Armenia. Times were tough and my parents did the best they could to feed three growing boys, even if it was only Karo Syrup on white bread. Do you remember?

"I learned that lesson very well and even today I rarely leave any food uneaten. I was 90 years old before anyone ever told me that I had been eating wrong all these years! I appreciate the great meals that Dawnie and her 'Sisters of the Skillet' put out each week here at the senior center. I don't know much about the best food to eat  - so I just enjoy it all!"

Odds and ends

Don't forget to come in and celebrate February birthdays with us Friday. If your birthday is in February, we'll have birthday cake for dessert and you'll get a card.

For the rest of the year, we are selling Seniors, Inc. memberships during office hours.

No need to wait for special days or times, if we are here, we will sell memberships.

We are currently looking for several volunteers to provide assistance on our senior bus, approximately once a week. Duties may include assistance from the home to bus, carrying groceries and assisting with grocery shopping. A background check will be completed on all applicants. Help brighten the day of a senior today by helping out. Call 264-2167 for more information.

Can you talk about love? Would you? We are looking for senior participants who are willing to talk openly about love for a documentary and theater presentation. If you are interested call Musetta at the senior center or, for more information, call Felicia Lansbury-Meyer at 264-6028.

Seniors at the Capitol

Lobby your legislator over lunch at the Colorado Historical Museum in Denver (13th Avenue, between Broadway and Lincoln) March 24 from 8:30 a.m.-noon.

You can visit with your legislators and elected officials and learn about important legislation and issues. Hot lunch is $11.50. The event is courtesy of Senior Resource Center, NARFE and CRSEA.

For more information or to register call Colorado Senior Lobby (303) 832-4535.


Feb. 27 - 10 a.m., Qi Gong; 10:30, MicroSoft Word class; noon, celebrate birthdays.

March 1 - 1 p.m., Bridge for Fun.

March 2 - 10 a.m., Yoga; 10:30, advanced computer; 11:30, Seeds of Learning kids sing.

March 3 - 10:30 a.m., Beginning computer class; 1 p.m. , Canasta.

March 5 - 10 a.m., Qi Gong; 10:30, MicroSoft Word class; noon, veteran's' benefits.


Feb. 27 - Beef Stroganoff, rice, green beans/tomatoes, roll and peaches.

March 1 - Meatloaf, boiled potatoes, green beans, roll and peaches.

March 2 - Stromboli, broccoli, tossed salad, ice cream and grape juice.

March 3 - Macaroni and cheese, stewed tomatoes, garden salad and plums.

March 5 - BBQ Chicken, corn on the cob, cole slaw, whole wheat roll and fruit mix.


Chamber News

Friday is deadline for newsletter inserts

By Sally Hamiester

The deadline for our quarterly newsletter inserts is tomorrow, Feb. 27, so get those happy feet in gear and head on down.

Just bring us 750 copies of your 8 1/2 x 11 unfolded insert on colorful paper, if you wish, and a check for $40, and we will make sure that all members will receive that dandy little marketing piece.

You would be hard put to find a better bang for your dollar to reach over 750 businesses and individuals than your insert in the Chamber Communiqué, so get on it right away. If you have questions, just give Doug a call at 264-2360.

Lord of the Springs

You have two more opportunities to experience "Lord of the Springs" at the Pagosa Springs High School with performances beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. I've been told by those who attended last weekend that it is perfectly delightful and definitely fun for the entire family. You will see over 100 Pagosans of every age, size and shape singing and dancing their little hearts out in a local version of the famous Tolkien trilogy, fulfilling the vision of local theatre artist Mark Brown. The Pagosa modification boasts a 12-foot puppet, evil sorcerers, dancing Hobbits, talking trees and a wonderful ending that just might clear up the question of how the hot springs came about.

We can thank Bill Hudson, Mark Brown, the Pagosa Pretenders and Artstream Cultural Resources for their considerable collaborative efforts to bring us this production and the many they have presented in the past.

Tickets for "Lord of the Springs" can be purchased at Moonlight Books and WolfTracks for $7 adults, $3 for children 12 and under and $6 for PSAC members. Proceeds from the show will support more family theater in Pagosa and more arts and theater activities for local school children and adults.

St. Patrick's Parade

You will find everything you need to know about the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce St. Patrick's Day Parade in the upcoming newsletter, including a registration form.

This year, the Irish celebration falls on a Wednesday, and tradition dictates that we will begin lining up at 3:17 p.m. and that you will pay the huge sum of $3.17 as an entry fee.

The line-up will take place behind Sears in the alley and the parade will enter the highway at the light on 5th Street.

Those of you who know about this parade also know that it is all about fun and that the one and only requirement is that all participants wear green. We welcome children, animals, adults and just about anything or anyone that will make a colorful addition to the parade. Entry forms will be found in our upcoming newsletter, the Chamber Communiqué, and I'm sure that Doug O'Trowbridge will make them available at the Visitor Center sometime soon.

I just wanted to give you plenty of time to get those creative juices flowing for this ever-so-darlin' event. Call us at 264-2360 with any questions.

Making a Difference

Don't forget to call and reserve a spot for this year's third annual "Making a Difference" fund-raising luncheon March 9, at the Pagosa Springs Baptist Church beginning at 11:30 a.m.

I raved last week about this year's keynote speaker, Dr. Lew Hunter, and I'm sticking by my guns that he promises to be one fascinating storyteller. Hunter is a screenwriter, best-selling author of "Screenwriting 434" and Chair Emeritus of the renowned UCLA MFA Screenwriting Program. This gentleman boasts a career which includes serving as an executive for Walt Disney, NBC, ABC and various motion picture companies for three decades. Teaching seems to be his true calling, and his seminars and workshops are offered all over the world in places like Africa, Australia, China, Croatia, Denmark, England, Finland and Greece.

His students at UCLA have written screenplays for some very well-known films like "Men in Black," "Forrest Gump," "Lethal Weapon' and "Under the Tuscan Sun." "Naked Screenwriting" is the title of Lew's much talked-about but as yet unseen collection of 22 interviews with Academy Award-winning screenwriters to be published and released this year.

I am very excited about the opportunity to listen to the creative exploits of this incredibly talented man, and do hope you will join us. Tickets for this fund-raiser are available at the Education Center located on 4th and Lewis streets for $45.

Third anniversary

Always a pleasure to pass along our members' successes, so we are particularly pleased to announce the third anniversary celebration of our friends, Pat and Gordon Kahn, owners of Victoria's Parlor. They invite you to join them for the party this Saturday and Sunday to enjoy a complimentary mimosa with breakfast or a complimentary dessert with lunch.

This is their way of thanking you for your support and friendship throughout the last three years, and it sounds like a dandy expression of gratitude to me. Congratulations, Pat and Gordon, on creating such a successful business with your hard work and dedication. We all appreciate you.

More member news

I always enjoy passing along news about our members that arrives from friends in other states as well as through our clipping service with Tosch & Associates through the Southwest Colorado Travel Region. These are the things that help put Pagosa on the map and that benefit all of us who try to be as effective as possible with our marketing dollars. Some of these are written by independent writers like the one I just received that appeared in the Dallas Morning News Jan. 11 replete with a beautiful color pictures. The piece was a rerun of an article by Ben Brazil that appeared in the News the previous year that raved on and on about Wolf Creek Ski Area. Obviously the powers that be thought it was well worth printing again, along with three pictures of the ski area and one of The Springs Resort.

A good friend in Texas just sent an article that appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in which June Taylor shared her four favorite early spring getaways that were in easy reach of the Fort Worth area and required very little planning time. Wolf Creek Ski Area was her No. 2 choice under the heading of "Affordable Colorado Skiing" and she mentioned Chimney Rock and a couple of restaurants here.

Again, a color picture of the ski area appeared along with the article as well as lift ticket prices and directions to get here from Fort Worth. This was an independent article and absolutely priceless to everyone who markets Pagosa Springs.

We also received articles from newspapers in Kodiak, Alaska; Columbia Station, Ohio; Sidney, N.Y.; York, S.C. and Clover, S. C., about local member, The Lodge at Keyah Grande. That makes a grand total of eight articles about KG we've received in the past three weeks. Nice going.


I want to thank Sherry Waner and the good folks at Vectra Bank for sponsoring the ongoing F.I.S.H. (Fresh Ideas Start Here) meetings taking place here at the Chamber.

The three-part workshop began last Tuesday evening and will continue for the following two Tuesdays with a full house in attendance. I announced these meetings several weeks ago with the caution that there were only fifteen spots, and they were gone in a heartbeat. David Broyles conducts these meetings and evidently does a wonderful job according to his current students. I will attend this week's meeting and let you know. At any rate, we thank Sherry, Vectra Bank and David Broyles for allowing us to be a part of this business development opportunity.


It's always a good week here at the Chamber when we are privileged to introduce two new members and 25 renewals. They are all as welcome as the sunshine and white moisture we've received lately.

Our first new member is actually someone who is familiar to us all as well as someone for whom we are most grateful. Chief Don Volger joins us with the Pagosa Springs Police Department. Our police department is made up of seven full-time certified officers, a part-time animal control officer and a full-time parking enforcement officer. All of these folks can be reached at 264-4151, and we're mighty happy to have them looking out for us every day.

Our second new member this week is Shea Reed with Schield-Leavitt Insurance Agency. These folks can take care of all your insurance needs to include contractors' liability, workers' compensation, bonds, commercial business insurance, group health benefits, life insurance, personal home and auto health. Please give them a call to learn how they can help you at 731-4678.

Our renewals this week include Rolly Jackson with Radio Shack of Pagosa; Tina Ulibarri with Tierra Wools located in Los Ojos, N.M.; Cathy Neill with AAA in Durango; Ross Aragon with Archuleta Housing Corporation; Livia Cloman Lynch with the Archuleta County Education Center; Delores Butler with Studio 160; Lynne Killey with Killey Property Management Company; Brenda Decker with Waggin Tails Grooming Service at; John Porter with Friends of Performing Arts (FOPA); H. Wayne Wilson with H. Wayne Wilson, CPA/PFS, CFP; Vimmie and Dick Ray with both Lobo Outfitters and the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park; Pat Alley with Whispering Pines Development Company, LLC; St. Patrick's Episcopal Church; Nan and Gary Rowe with Oso Grande Ranch and Oso Grande Ranch Outfitting and Nan Rowe with Rocky Mountain Reefs and Ponds; Craig Nelson with Point of View Eyecare; Steve Lydon with Fairfield Resorts-Pagosa; Shanah Schaffer with both the Best Western Oak Ridge Lodge and Squirrel's Pub and Pantry; Denny Barber with the Hogs Breath Saloon and Rick Unger with Ungerart with home offices.

Our Associate Member renewals this week are valued Chamber Diplomats John and Char Neill and Sara Scott. These are three of those amazing people who support us with both the hours they volunteer as hosts at the Visitor Center and with their dollars. It just doesn't get any better than that.



Library News

State, feds having tax form delivery problems

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

The library tries to help you by providing tax forms for your convenience. Of course we can only provide them if the state and federal government send them in a timely manner. That is not happening.

The state is broke, in case you haven't heard. Therefore the ladies in the tax office tell us many of the forms you may need are not going to be printed.

The forms are on line and you'd better have a computer and lots of time to get this dreadful job done. The library computers have time limits so you can't count on using them to do your taxes.

The state recommends that you use a home computer or a paid tax preparer. The governor tells us that online filing is a way to make state government more efficient. He asks you to take a moment to learn how to do electronic filing and direct deposit as it can simplify filing your tax return. He says the state has made online filing easier to use. There is information on line about filing at the Web site "netfile.state.co.us." The federal web site is "irs.gov" and click on the efile logo.

The federal government has yet to send the final big book of special forms and they say it will be the last of March before the final forms come. Again, it would probably be to your benefit to learn the internet filing system as soon as possible on your home computer, or hire that tax expert. Both the state and the federal governments are soon going to do all business online so we best get used to the concept. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Fuel economy guide

The Environmental Protection Agency sent the 2004 guide to help consumers choose new cars that both save money and protect the environment. You may compare all types of new vehicles and find out miles per gallon and other statistics. Ask for it at the desk.

New books

"The Kitchen Detective," by Christopher Kimball explains common cooking mysteries with 150 foolproof recipes. Kimball tells how and why popular recipes work or don't work and how to make them reasonably foolproof. Why is a $4 cake pan as good as an $80 one? What's the difference between Morton Table Salt, and Morton Kosher Salt? The book is full of odd facts that will entertain as well as educate you. It not only tells you what to do, but why.

"The Wild Bunch at Robbers Roost," by Pearl Baker is a reprint of a book about Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch. Robbers Roost was a hideout for outlaws and hunted men long before Cassidy found it in 1884. The country in southeastern Utah, cut through by canyons along the Green and Colorado rivers, discouraged lawmen from pursuit. The author grew up on a ranch that included Robbers Roost. Baker's complete research provides us with this lively book. It is a welcome addition to our Hershey Southwest Collection.

"The Life of Reilly," by Rick Reilly presents the best of his Sport's Illustrated weekly columns. Reilly lives in Denver and has been chosen six times as national Sportswriter of the Year. His book is organized around his seven Rs: Rants, Raves, Reality, Roots, Rough, Wrecks, and Royalty. This is an older donated book but still enjoyable reading. We continue to depend on our patrons for donations of books and material and appreciate all gifts.

There is a growing demand for books on CDs and we would appreciate any of these that you might be willing to put in our collection.

Indoor garage sale

The Friends of the Library will sponsor another Indoor Garage Sale March 27 in the Extension building. You may rent a booth to sell your treasures. It will run 7 a.m.-noon on that Saturday. This is a chance for you to clean out the closets and the attic to make room for more stuff you will probably buy at the sale. Booths will be available on a first come, first serve basis. You may pick up an entry form at the library. Booth rent will be $15 for one 8-foot table space. Double or triple booth spaces will be available. Set up will be Friday night.


Thanks for materials from Dick and Betty Hillyer, Glessie Drake, Glenn Raby, Debbie Montoya, Sue Kehret, John J. Taylor, and Dick and Ann Van Fossen.


Veteran's Corner

Veterans' disability rating can be upgraded

I frequently encounter veterans coming to my office with old service connected disabilities. These disabilities may have been rated by the VA years ago, or perhaps the veteran was discharged from military service because of wounds or injuries.

Part of the interview process of a veteran who comes to my office for the first time is to seek out any potential service-connected disabilities. After getting all the preliminary information on the veteran's military service I like to dig into any possibilities of a service-connected disability.

Old ratings

Recently, one of our local veterans passed away. This veteran had a 40-percent VA service-connected combined disability rating. Those VA ratings were acquired many years earlier.

The veteran came in to see me on some routine matters a few months ago and after discussing his disabilities and present condition it was decided that his conditions had declined further in advancing age. So we worked up an "upgrade" claim to his already rated VA disabilities.

No one had ever told him that as his disabilities worsened, he could file for an upgrade. Unfortunately, his health conditions declined rapidly and he passed away before the VA could determine his upgrades.

Excellent case

I think this veteran had a very good case for an upgrade to his VA-rated disabilities. In the case of this particular veteran he had acquired other health problems that directly related to the disabilities already awarded by the VA. In other words, because of one disability, other disabilities became evident that were directly related to the original problems.

In many cases, upgrades to VA service-connected disabilities are easier to prove than the original claim. All that is required is current medical evidence that the additional medical concerns, physical or mental, are directly associated with those disabilities already rated by the VA.

Suffer in dignity

The VA awarded many veterans service-connected disabilities years ago and the veteran never knew that he could file for additional disability benefits. Often they think they are just getting older and their health is bound to decline. They suffer these increased health problems quietly in dignity.

Other veterans humbly feel they don't deserve any more compensation for their service-connected disabilities. What they got long ago from the VA is good enough. They were just doing their duty to their country.

Upgrades help families

However, many other factors can come into play when a veteran's VA rated disabilities are upgraded. It can affect not only their well-being but also sometimes that of their family.

If a veteran's service-connected disability is rated 50 percent or more, they move to Priority 1 in the VA Health Care system and are accorded many more VAHC benefits. If they are rated at 100-percent disabled, their spouse is also eligible for health care benefits.

This could be very, very important to the family as they get older and have more health care needs. Of course the veteran also receives much more in VA compensation pay. A 100 percent VA disability rating raises the VA death benefits greatly in case the veteran dies.

Stop by VSO

If you already have a VA service-connected disability and you think your condition has gotten worse I urge you to stop by and see me so we can discuss filing an upgrade to those disabilities.

For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse (next to the driver's license office). The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376; e-mail is afautheree@ archuletacounty.org. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.



Nick Olson and Micaela Bell are excited to announce the birth of their son, Zachary Jixer Joseph Olson at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 28, 2004, in Mercy Medical Center in Durango. Proud grandparents are Sue Christie of Pagosa Springs and Joe and Donna Bell of The Colony, Texas, and great-grandparents are Jenny Bell and Wanda and Joel Christie, all of Pagosa Springs.



Jerry Parker, Travis Blesi and Jared Earley of Pagosa Springs have completed boot camp at Camp Pendleton and are now members of the U.S. Marine Corps.

They endured 13 weeks of grueling physical conditioning and mental fatigue mastering marksmanship, drill, military customs, courtesies and martial arts.

Their training culminated with a teamwork exercise known as "the crucible," in which their platoon covered 45 miles on foot in three days while averaging two hours sleep per night and only one meal a day.

The three, all 2003 graduates of Pagosa Springs High School, completed recruit training Nov. 21, 2003.

Parker is the son of Johnny and Glenda Parker; Earley the son of Don and Ruth Earley; and Blesi the son of Curt and Mary Jo Hannay.

Earley is now at Camp LeJeune, N.C.; Parker at Twentynine Palms, Calif.; and Blesi at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., awaiting military police training.



Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas J. Cangialosi, son of Stephen L. Cangialosi of Pagosa Springs, recently participated in the seizure of an estimated 2,800 pounds of hashish with an estimated value of $11 million.

The action came while serving with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit homebased in Camp Pendleton, Calif., which intercepted a vessel in the North Arabian sea.

These interceptions are designed to hinder the funding of terrorist organizations by denying the use of the seas for the smuggling of illegal contraband. This is the third such action by coalition maritime forces in recent weeks.

Cangialosi joined the Marine Corps in July 2001. His current unit is an expeditionary force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment.

 Sports Page


Parks & Rec

Pagosa youth in national Elks Hoop Shoot regional

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks held its Colorado State Hoop Shoot basketball free throw contest in Salida on Feb. 21.

Kain Lucero, son of Gina and Clifford Lucero of Pagosa Springs, hit 20 of 25 free throws to take first place in the contest in the category for boys 8 and 9 years old.

Kain will compete March 13 against the state winners from Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas to determine the four-state regional representative to the National Hoop Shoot April 24 in Springfield, Mass.

This year almost 20,000 students in Colorado competed statewide in the Elks contests. Only the first place state winners in the six categories will compete in the regional contest.

Our other state Hoop Shoot contestant from this area, Katerina Garcia, daughter of Yvette and Alfonso Garcia of Bayfield, was off the consistent accuracy of around 20 of 25 that she showed in the Bayfield preliminary contest, the area championship and the West Colorado District contest. On Jan. 24, Katerina won the high point girls' trophy at the West Colorado contest. Katerina had to settle for fourth place in the state contest.

For further information on the Hoop Shoot program, the contestants and the contests, contact David Carter, local chairman, at 247-1495 or 749-2527.

Tee ball sign-ups

Parents please be on the lookout for tee ball registration forms. We are planning to start earlier than in years past, with the idea behind that tee ballers and parents can enjoy fundamentals, indoor bathrooms and a controlled environment.

We plan a few games indoors, with outdoor games in for the month of May.

Tee ballers must be 5-6 years old, The younger athletes must be 5 by April 1. A birth certificate copy is required at registration.

Coaches and sponsors are needed for all age groups. Sponsorship for tee ball is $150.

Adult hoops

The 2004 adult basketball league is in full swing with 17 teams enjoying our most popular indoor recreational activities.

See our Web site, townofpagosasprings.com, for the weekly schedule.

Mondays feature men's recreation league games; Tuesdays are for women's basketball; Wednesdays feature men's competitive league games.

All games in March will be played in the community center.


Martinez survives struggle, wins second state title

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The time on the clock clicked down.

A struggle on the mat intensified as the match drew to a close.

The last second ticked off, but not before the official's hand signalled two points for a takedown.

Fans on one side of the arena howled, convinced their wrestler was robbed.

Fans on the other side of the arena cheered.

They had a state champion.

Michael Martinez, of Pagosa Springs.

There was little doubt Martinez would be in the Class 3A championship bout at 119 pounds Saturday night at the Pepsi Center.

The question was whether the Pirate could battle past Quinten Fuentes, of Roosevelt, to win a second state title.

Martinez cruised through the first three matches of his tournament, applying his technically efficient, workmanlike pressure to each of his opponents.

First up was junior Brent Havens, of Olathe. Martinez handled Havens easily, scoring with a takedown and three points on a near fall in the first period, an escape and four takedowns in the second, and adding two more takedowns in the final period to fashion a 20-5 technical fall.

In his second match, Martinez fought Shawn Lopez, a senior from Lamar. The result: a win for the Pirate with a 13-7 decision. Martinez toyed with Lopez throughout the match, taking the Savage down then cutting him to set up another two-point try.

In the championship semifinal, the Pirate battled Chay Caler, of Manitou Springs. Martinez dominated Caler, putting together an eight-point second period on his way to a 13-2 major decision.

That left only Fuentes.

Fuentes came to the contest 34-1, Martinez 36-1. The Pirate's only loss was to a Delta wrestler, a loss Martinez later avenged with a 2-1 win. Fuentes pinned that same wrestler from Delta.

It would be a classic matchup.

And one of the roughest, hardest-fought and most exciting bouts in Pirate wrestling history.

To say the wrestlers were evenly matched would be to underplay the situation. Neither wrestler could get a clean shot. The two tied each other up and the first period ended with them on their feet, scoreless.

Fuentes started down in the second period and Martinez cut him loose to give up the point.

Fuentes and Martinez locked up again, with Fuentes going to his knees whenever Martinez was poised for the shot. What resulted was a stalling call on the Pirate, and a 2-0 advantage for Fuentes at the end of the second period.

Martinez took the down position to start the third period and managed an escape to close within one point. Then, the same story, with Fuentes employing the same tactics. As the time clicked off the clock, it seemed as if the youngster from the northeast plains would best the Pirate.

Finally, Martinez made a move. He shot a single leg, changed his mind and attempted to switch to a double. Then, another change - back to the single, dragging Fuentes on the mat.

The next move was something unusual for the veteran Pirate: He tripped Fuentes and took him down, keeping his own feet in bounds.

The referee's hand went up as time expired. Two points for Martinez. A 3-2 win.

The Roosevelt crowd went berserk. "Time ran out," "His feet were out of bounds."

The Pagosa crowd went berserk. It was an incredible finish to a match that, for 5 minutes, 55 seconds, was frustrating and seemingly headed for disaster.

They had a champion and had witnessed a classic battle.

"There was a moment," said Coach Dan Janowsky, "when I thought 'We're not going to get it.' I looked away, thinking it was over. I looked back and Michael's feet were in bounds and the ref signalled two points. I was stunned. I was elated."

And what did the coach think of Martinez' strategy? "I tell my kids to not try to trip their opponents; it's a low-percentage move. Michael told me afterward, 'Coach, I tripped him.' What am I going to say? It worked."

The match, said Janowsky, was typical of what he and fans expected out of Martinez the last four years. "A coach from Rocky Ford told me after the match that, in a nutshell, the match was Michael Martinez. He said, 'He never quit. He wrestled to the end and to the edge of the mat.'"

Perhaps that is what made the difference: an incredibly disciplined and determined senior who knew a match is never over until the whistle blows, versus a talented sophomore who relaxed for an instant, thinking he had the match won.

"It paid off for Michael," said Janowsky, "in dramatic fashion. And it closed an outstanding chapter in the history of our program. Michael is the first four-time state placer we have ever had and he is only the second two-time state champ. He took fourth as a freshman at 103; third at 112; and he was champion at 112 and 119. He's the last of his family in our program (brothers Ryan and Daniel were Pirate wrestlers). The Martinez kids, and their parents (Barbara and Jody) have all contributed to our program for many years.

"And it'll take 20 years before we ever see the likes of Michael Martinez again."


Hart, Hockett battle way to state medals

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pagosa's Kory Hart and Daren Hockett won enough battles to advance to the medal round of the Class 3A wrestling championships and to ascend the award podium Saturday night.

Kory Hart overcame adversity not of his own making and ended his Pirate career with a third-place finish at 152 pounds.

Hart, the regional champion, started strong against Matt Ocanas, of Eaton.

For a moment, it looked as if Hart could be in trouble. Ocanas caught the Pirate in a headlock, but Hart fought off the try and came back to score with a takedown. He then scored three back points and led 5-0 at period's end.

Ocanas escaped to start the second period but Hart responded with a takedown, a two-point near fall, then three more back points, just missing the pin at the buzzer. The Pirate led 12-1.

Hart finished his scoring with a third-period takedown and gave up a point on an escapee to record the 14-2 major decision.

In the championship quarterfinal, Hart met Vicente Mendez, of Valley.

The wrestlers struggled on their feet throughout the first period, neither able to score.

Hart started the second period down and reversed Mendez for a 2-0 lead. Mendez escaped, Hart got a takedown, Mendez escaped again, and the Pirate led 4-2 at period's end.

Mendez scored the final point in what proved a very tough match, and Hart walked off the mat with the 4-3 win.

Hart's match in the championship semifinal, against Isaac Copeland of Bennett, was controversial not because of anything done by the competitors, but because of decisions by an official.

Generally, officiating at the state tournament is outstanding, with the official remaining in the background, managing the match, allowing the wrestlers to determine the outcome.

This time, however, the official took center stage, in effect handing Copeland the points he needed to win by a 6-4 decision.

The problem? Though Hart was the only wrestler to successfully complete takedowns (two of them - one in the first period, the other in the second ) the Pirate was called for stalling. Not once, but three times. Copeland's only earned points came on a two-point near fall at the end of the third period.

The loss put Hart in the consolation semifinal against Chris Harvey, of Eagle Valley.

Hart put his adversity behind him and overwhelmed Harvey, advancing to the third-place match with a 16-3 victory.

The battle was close through the first period, with Hart taking a 2-1 lead. The Pirate turned on the burner in the second period, beginning with an escape and a takedown. A three-point near fall followed. Harvey was barely able to respond and the period ended with Hart ahead 10-2.

A frustrated Harvey was assessed a penalty point in the third period before Hart secured three back points. Harvey scored his final point with an escape before Hart polished off the win with a final takedown.

The win put the Pirate in the battle for third against a familiar face - Garrett Nunnery, of Lamar, a fighter who defeated Hart at last year's state tourney.

The action was tight at the outset, with the wrestlers ending the first period scoreless.

Nunnery escaped to start the second period and that was all the scoring fans would see for nearly two minutes. Nunnery had a 1-0 lead going into the final period.

Hart started down and scored with an escape. The next takedown would likely win the match, and it was Hart who scored. Nunnery managed one last escape but Hart had the 3-2 win and owned the third-place medal.

"Kory responded to the situation well," said Pirate coach Dan Janowksy. "He had a lot of pride and never threw in the towel. Kory struggled all season to find the right rhythm with his takedown. Guys got used to his arm bar and he had to find other ways to win. He did it, and he wrestled a much more effective tournament this year than last.

Daren Hockett took sixth place at 125 pounds.

The junior moved up to 125 from 103 where he finished third last season, and the change was a challenge throughout the season. Hockett persisted, won the regional championship and earned the right to fight at the Pepsi Center.

Hockett dominated his preliminary round opponent, Justin Martinez, of Salida. Playing a takedown strategy, the Pirate repeatedly took Martinez down, then cut the Spartan to set up the next attack. At the end of the first period, Hockett scored a three-point near fall to lead 11-3.

The pattern continued in the second period, with Hockett extending his advantage to 15-4. Finally, the Spartan's shoulders went to the mat and the fall was recorded at 3 minutes, 6 seconds.

Next up was John Zahn, of Erie. Hockett took Zahn down and cut him loose to lead 2-1 at the end of the first period. Hockett started down in the second period, nailed a reverse, scored with two back points, then gave up a reversal. The Pirate led 6-3.

Hockett scored with a two-point near fall in the final period, gave up an escape and won the quarterfinal match, 8-4.

Hockett's tenure in the championship bracket ended in the semifinal against Clayton Bonn, of Buena Vista. The match was as even as they come, with the first period featuring the two wrestlers on their feet, each attempting shot after shot, each repelling the other's attack. Two stalemates were issued in the period which ended 0-0. The second period featured the same scenario, shot after shot, counter after counter, three stalemates, a 0-0 score.

Bonn started down in the third period and Hockett cut him loose, hoping for the takedown. Instead, it was Bonn who scored. Hockett finally managed an escape to close to 2-1 but a takedown attempt by the Pirate was thwarted by the buzzer and Bonn had the 3-1 victory.

Hockett then dropped to the consolation semifinal against Andy Griffith, of Colorado Springs Christian - an athlete Hockett defeated at the regional tournament.

This time, it was Griffith's turn. After a scoreless first period, Griffith scored with an escape. Hockett responded with a takedown then cut Griffith loose for a try at two points. Griffith spoiled the strategy, managing a takedown at the buzzer.

Hockett started down in the third but could not get away from Griffith. Hockett's final point came with Griffith called for a stall and the Pirate ended up on the short end of a 4-3 score.

The match for fifth ended Hockett's tournament. He battled Mason Ewing of Eagle Valley to a 4-4 tie at the end of regulation time, but Ewing managed the takedown in overtime to win the match.

"I commend Daren on salvaging a season that looked kind of gloomy at times," said Janowsky. "He spent time adjusting to the change from 103 to 125. At this tournament, I thought he did a good job in the two matches he lost; they were dead even. The difference between the top six in this tournament is small and between third and sixth, it is tiny."


Pirates ground Falcons, chart course for postseason

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The first leg of their journey is over.

The rewards reaped thus far include three tournament crowns, the regular-season Intermountain League championship and the right to host regional playoffs.

Now, after capping an undefeated voyage through the regular season with a 64-47 weekend win at Centauri, Head Coach Jim Shaffer and the No. 1 Pirates are ready to lay claim to postseason riches.

Their first shot at such bounty will come Saturday night, when the Pirates make a return trip to Centauri Middle School in La Jara for the 6:45 p.m. IML tourney championship game.

The Pirates' opponent in said game, however, will not be known until after tomorrow's second-round matchup between Bayfield and Ignacio (Pagosa will play the winner).

Nevertheless, as last Saturday's Pagosa-Centauri contest demonstrated, whoever advances to face the Pirates will need more than a "third time's a charm" mentality to upset the regular-season champs.

Pagosa took a 2-0 lead 30 seconds into action on a low-post move by senior Clayton Spencer, who returned to the starting lineup against the Falcons after missing two IML affairs with a toe fracture.

Centauri's Jason Gomm responded by sneaking inside for a deuce, and the Falcons enjoyed a brief 5-2 advantage at 6:30 after a trey from David Mondragon.

But the home crowd grew restless thereafter as Centauri's offense bogged down in the wake of the Pirates' relentless defense, and the Falcons were held scoreless until the final seconds of the period.

With the press taking its toll, a drive and layin from Ty Faber after a goaltending call on Centauri's Jordan Norton put Pagosa on top to stay, and the visitors led 9-5 behind a free throw from Ryan Goodenberger and a Faber jumper at 4:05.

A molasses-in-January offense plagued Centauri for the next two minutes, then a baseline attempt by Pagosa's Craig Schutz led to Norton's second goaltend of the frame and Goodenberger's three ball at the 60-second mark put the Pirates up nine.

Neither team tallied in the final minute until Mondragon hit a runner in the lane with three ticks left; Pagosa led 14-7 at the end of one.

The Pirates opened the second quarter in possession, but a turnover enabled Centauri's Vernon Rope to get his team within 14-9 with two minutes in the books.

Craig Schutz countered with two after an assist from teammate Coy Ross, and Faber's steal and assist to Goodenberger for an old-fashioned three-point play had Pagosa leading 18-9 with four minutes to play in the half.

Then Centauri got two inside from Gomm, Pagosa's David Kern sank a pair at the charity stripe and Norton laid in to make it 21-13 Pirates before Craig Schutz, Faber and Goodenberger collaborated for seven straight points that pushed the difference to 28-13 at 1:17.

Jeremy Caler added a late free throw for Pagosa, and the Falcons got three of their last four behind the arc courtesy of Kenny Schell as the half closed with the Pirates holding a 29-18 advantage.

Pagosa quickly surged to a 34-18 lead a minute into the third behind a charity toss from Spencer, a steal and drive by Kern and two free throws from Goodenberger.

The scoring rate picked up for both teams in the following minutes as Gomm cut into the lead with a trey, Pagosa's Caleb Forrest buried a pair from the line, and Mondragon and Goodenberger matched jumpers to make it 38-23 Pagosa at 5:35.

The back-and-forth pace continued as Spencer fed Craig Schutz for two in the key, Schell drilled a trey, Kern sank two free throws, Ross worked underneath for a deuce and Schell hit a jumper to make it 44-28 Pagosa at 2:18.

Then the Falcons went silent from the field in the final two minutes as Caler led a Pirate assault at both ends of the court that effectively eliminated any potential for a Centauri comeback.

Pagosa's Casey Belarde hit teammate Luke Brinton for two on the block following a deep trey from Caler and the Pirates led 49-28 with 30 seconds remaining.

But Caler wasn't finished, and converted identical back-to-back steals in the final seconds into a layin and two free throws to give his team a commanding 53-28 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

Schell did his best to get the Falcons within striking distance by scoring Centauri's first eight of the final period, but a deuce each from Forrest and Goodenberger offset the effort and kept Pagosa comfortably ahead at 57-36 with 6:05 to play.

The Falcons were able to occasionally whittle the lead in the next few minutes, but trailed 64-43 after Craig Schutz, Brinton and Ross combined for Pagosa's final seven points.

A fresh five for Pagosa entered battle in the final 2:30, and Belarde, Paul Przybylski, Otis Rand, Casey Schutz and Jordan Shaffer limited Centauri to four additional points before the game ended 64-47 in favor of the Pirates.

Goodenberger led the scoring attack for Pagosa with 15 points, followed by Faber and Caler with eight apiece and Craig Schutz with six.

Regarding Saturday night's IML championship game, "Without knowing who we'll play, we can't prepare for a specific opponent this week since some teams play us zone and some play us man," said Shaffer.

"But what we can do is try to improve individually and as a team, and if we consistently take care of our own business I think we'll be fine," he concluded.

On a related note, postseason ticket rates have been set at $6 for adults, $4 for students K-12 and $5 for senior citizens. Colorado High School Activities Association passes will be the only passes accepted at the door, all other passes are invalid for postseason events.

Regional playoff games, to be held in the Pagosa Springs High School gym, have been scheduled for 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 5, and 1 p.m. March 6, with bracket pairings to be announced next week.


Consolation bracket little consolation for four Pirate wrestlers

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Eight Pirate wrestlers entered competition at the state tournament Feb. 19 and four advanced through that round.

Ky Smith, at 130 pounds, Raul Palmer at 135, James Gallegos at 140 and Aaron Hamilton at 145, lost their first-round matches and went into consolation action Friday. Only Smith and Palmer survived to fight again.

One other Pirate won a preliminary match but narrowly missed an appearance in the medal round - James Martinez, at 215.

Smith, a sophomore, began competition against Larry Todd, a senior from Hotchkiss with a 29-5 season record. Smith lost in a fall at 2 minutes, 30 seconds, and dropped to the consolation bracket.

In his first consolation match, Smith secured the first of what should be many state tournament wins - against Rodney Dias, of Erie, pinning the junior at 3:25. Smith was eliminated from the tournament with a loss to Seth Withrow, of Florence.

"Ky had a pretty good tournament, " said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "The two guys who beat him medaled in the class and both beat Ky earlier in the season by a more convincing margin. Now, what Ky needs is to work to polish his technique, but he has a perfect attitude for the sport."

Palmer dropped to consolation with a loss to Brandon Kamerzall (25-16), of Eaton. Palmer, like Smith, managed a win in his first consolation match, forging an 11-7 decision over Buena Vista's Matt Johnson (20-19). Palmer's run ended with a loss to a familiar opponent - Adrian Abeyta, of Ignacio.

"Raul lost to two excellent wrestlers," said Janowsky. "Raul has come a long way in the limited amount of time he has wrestled (since eighth grade). His progress has been rapid and impressive."

Two Pirate seniors ended their high school careers at the Pepsi Center.

Gallegos lost two matches at state: the first to Josh Hunt (28-9), of Brush, the second to Matt Aten (21-9), of Basalt.

"James had limited varsity experience, what with an injury last season," said the coach. "And to get to state and compete is impressive. James has been a very important part of this team; I respect him for putting together a very successful senior year."

Hamilton, too, lost both matches at Denver: the first to Ray Elliot (33-5), of La Junta, the second a 7-4 decision to Daniel Clark, of Platte Valley.

Janowsky had praise for Hamilton, who has worked hard for four years to get to the Big Show.

"Aaron was a late bloomer," said the coach. "His trip here was a race against the clock. His athleticism just started to have an effect and he put everything into this he possibly could, to get as good as he possibly could."

One of the pleasant surprises for the Pirates was the performance of Martinez, who finished the three-day competition with a 2-2 record.

The sophomore entered the tournament giving up as much as 25 pounds to some of his opponents. Martinez, at 190, held his own against larger and, in some cases, more experienced competitors.

Martinez started the tournament with a victory over Salida's Mike Mazzuca (23-13). Martinez pinned the Spartan at 1:18. The Pirate then lost to Taylor Gerkin (29-4), a senior from Weld Central and dropped to the consolation bracket for a bout with Justin Tuell (22-9), of Yuma. Martinez dispatched Tuell with a 12-7 decision. A loss to Lance Stuht of Trinidad ended the Pirate's tournament.

"Bubba is a case of rapid development," said the coach, "and he was on the brink of medaling. He was new to this, next year he won't be. He wrestled at about 190 pounds against some big guys. Bubba is a special kid, and I think we'll see great things from him."


Walkup, Jewell, Reinhardt pace Pirate playoff victory

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It was a new format with an old conclusion.

The Intermountain League, in a move to give every team a shot at advancing from district action, went to a new playoff format this year, with only the league champion drawing a bye.

As a result, Pagosa Springs, the No. 2 team to Centauri in league action, had to play Bayfield for the third time this season.

The game on Pagosa's hardwood Tuesday was quickly established by Lori Walkup as an old-time woodshed whupping.

Just nine seconds into the contest, Walkup drilled the first of her three treys for the game and for all practical purposes, Bayfield's night was over.

That is not to say the Pirates didn't support Walkup in a big way.

For the first time this season, the Pirates had three players in double scoring figures - Walkup, (18) Caitlyn Jewell (14) and Laurel Reinhardt (10)- and were just a field goal away from having a fourth, Caitlin Forrest, who also had 10 rebounds.

In addition to Walkup's opening bomb, the Pirates had the biggest individual quarter of the season, a 10-point outburst from Jewell in the opening period.

Add to that a trey and regular field goal for Bri Scott and a deuce from Forrest and it was Pagosa 23-6 at the end of the period.

Bayfield's scores came on a pair of field goals from Ashley Shaw and one by Whitney Howard.

With Walkup the only starter on the floor for Pagosa at the beginning of the second quarter, Bayfield might have thought their chance was at hand.

But two quick inside scores by Forrest, one on an offensive rebound putback, stretched the Pirate lead to 27-6 and then Walkup drained her second trey.

Bayfield got four back on consecutive breakaways by Howard and Ivy Shank but Walkup countered with four on a steal and coast-to-coast drive and then on a 6-foot jumper.

Reinhardt hit two charity tosses and a field goal; junior forward Melissa Maberry drilled a 14-footer.

Cassie Dunavant and Estelle Harrmann each countered with one of two from the stripe before Danika Friedby picked up a field goal for the Wolverines.

But Pagosa wasn't through yet. Walkup saw to that with her third trey from deep on the right wing, then sophomore guard China Rose Rivas drilled a 10-foot pull-up jumper as Pagosa went to the halftime break leading 45-14.

Sophomore point guard Liza Kelley got into the scoring act for Pagosa to open the third, driving the lane for a layup and then hitting a 10-foot jumper.

Shank, silent since the opening period, got a deuce and free throw for Bayfield but Jewell got two of the three back on a strong power move to the rim.

Dunavant converted inside for Bayfield's last score of the period, but Pagosa was still scoring. Reinhardt had a successful charity toss and another field goal and Walkup and Jewell each scored again, the last points of the game for both.

At the end of three, Pagosa led 58-19.

Bayfield, to its credit, would not quit and outscored the Pirates 11-10 in the final stanza. Four points came on a pair of field goals by Friedby and four more on single field goals by Harrmann and Dunavant. Howard closed out the Wolverines scoring with three of four from the line.

For Pagosa, Reinhardt scored three more on an offensive rebound putback and another trip to the stripe. Maberry added her second field goal and Forrest her fourth. Rivas was one of two from the stripe, and Kari Beth Faber brought the Pagosa crowd to its feet with her first three-pointer of the season as the clock wound down to the 69-30 final.

The victory hiked Pagosa's season record to 15-5 and set up Friday's return engagement against Ignacio. A win in that contest would pit them against Centauri at 5 p.m. Saturday, the winner of that game the No. 1 seed and the loser getting second seed for regional action.

A loss would put them in the consolation bracket and a game against the winner of the contest between Monte Vista and Bayfield for the third seed from the league.

Individual leaders for Pagosa against Bayfield were Walkup in points with 18 and steals with five; Lynch in assists with five; and Forrest in rebounds with 10.

Pagosa was 27 of 69 from the floor, a .313 shooting percentage, and eight of 15 from the foul line (.533). Bayfield, meanwhile, shot 12 of 41 from the floor (.293) and six of 12 free throws (.500).


Scoring: P-Scott, 2-4, 5; Lynch, 0-1, 0; Kelley, 2-7, 4; Reinhardt, 3-5, 4-8, 10; Maberry, 2-5, 4; Faber, 1-2, 0-2, 3; Jewell, 6-10, 2-2, 14; Rivas, 1-1, 1-2, 3; Tomforde, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Buikema, 0-6, 0; Forrest, 4-5, 8. B-Howard, 2-6, 3-4, 7; Shaw, 3-11, 1-2, 7; Shank, 1-6, 2; Dunavant, 2-9, 1-2, 5; Broad, 0-1, 0; Bulwan, 0-2, 0; Friedby, 3-5, 0-1, 6; Harrmann, 1-1, 1-3, 3. Total fouls, P-16, B-11. Total turnovers, P-16, B-21.


Ladies find few bright spots in loss to Centauri

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa's Lady Pirates got 15 points from freshmen coming off the bench at Centauri Saturday night.

They also recorded 10 blocked shots in the contest, six by 6-2 center Caitlyn Jewell.

On the strength of a last second three-pointer by junior Bri Scott, the Ladies pulled into an 18-18 tie at the break.

And, they outrebounded the homestanding Falcons 29-25.

That's the good news.

Unfortunately, it does not outweigh the bad.

How bad?

- A season high 32 turnovers for Pagosa, 16 in each half

- 16 of 42 from the floor for 37 percent and only 10 of 25 from the foul stripe for a paltry 40 percent

- No answer inside to Centauri's Ashley Dunn and Kiley Mortensen who each scored 16

- A bench technical for forgetting to list a player put into the game in the scorebook

- A 61-45 loss in a game in which a win would have given them a tie for the Intermountain League championship.

And, in a new league playoff format, it required Pagosa to meet Bayfield Tuesday for tournament seeding position in the district tournament this weekend, back in Centauri.

While Pagosa played Bayfield, Ignacio and Monte Vista were also meeting again. The winners were to meet in Centauri Friday evening as were the losers.

Centauri, with its win over Pagosa, was assured the championship and a bye into the tournament championship game. Three teams will advance from the tournament into regional competition.

Now, back to Pagosa's collapse at Centauri.

As indicated earlier, it was a close, if sloppy game in the first half.

Dunn put Centauri on the scoreboard first with a turnaround jumper in the lane and Mortensen added to the advantage with a driving layup.

Liza Kelley put Pagosa on the board with a pull-up jumper from 10 feet and Emily Buikema knotted the count at four with a score off a lead pass from Kelley.

Dunn, fouled by Buikema, hit a pair from the charity stripe and Reza Espinosa scored on a right side drive to stretch the Falcon lead.

Jewell, fouled by Dunn while shooting, converted one of two from the stripe but came back on the next possession for a field goal cutting the Falcon lead to 10-7. Janette McCarroll added a free throw for Centauri and the score was 11-7 after one. The turnover margin was 6-2 with Pagosa committing the most.

The second period went to Pagosa as Buikema drilled four of five from the stripe, freshman Jessica Lynch got the first of her game-high eight for Pagosa, Jewell added another deuce, which turned out to be her last score of the game, and Scott a trey that tied the score.

Centauri got only seven points in the period, five from Dunn on two field goals and a charity shot and two by Lacey Cooley, the Falcons three-point specialist off the bench.

That was the last hurrah for the Lady Pirates.

They went stone cold in the third period, scoring only seven to 20 for Centauri, and turning the ball over eight more times for a total, after three periods, of 24.

The only Pagosa field goals in the stanza came from Lynch, junior Melissa Maberry, two from the stripe by Laura Tomforde and a single free throw in two attempts by Caitlin Forrest.

Centauri, meanwhile, was converting Pagosa errors into field goals with regularity. Krista Decker hit a pair as did Mortensen and Afton Witten and Dunn poured in five with a deuce and trey.

That made the score 38-25 after three periods and despite a spirited fourth quarter rally, the writing was on the wall for Pagosa.

The Pirates were outscored 23-20 in the final period, committed eight more turnovers (to seven for Centauri) and sent the Falcons to the charity stripe 16 times in the period and the home team converted on a dozen of the freebies.

For the Pirates, the too-little-too-late surge was paced by freshman Laurel Reinhardt coming off the bench to score five; Lynch with a trey and one of three from the stripe; Kelley with her second deuce; Lori Walkup with a trey, her only points of the game having taken only three shots; and two points by freshman Kristen DuCharme, making her varsity debut.

It was her entry into the game which brought the bench technical. Coach Bob Lynch had announced early in the week that she would suit with the varsity, but failed to make sure her name was in the official scorebook.

Mortensen (four) and Decker (one) hit the only Centauri field goals in the final period.

The loss left Pagosa's record at 6-2 in the IML and 14-5 for the season.

Walkup with seven rebounds, all defensive, led the Pirates on the boards. She also had a pair of blocked shots. Buikema and Forrest each had one. Walkup was also the steals and assist leader for Pagosa with two in each category.


Scoring: P-Scott, 3-9 , 0-2, 7; Lynch, 3-8, 1-3, 8; Kelley, 2-4, 0-2, 4; 1-3, 3; Reinhardt, 2-2, 1-2, 5; Maberry, 1-3, 2; Jewell, 2-5, 1-4, 5; Tomforde 1-3, 4-5, 6; Forrest, 0-1,2-2, 1; DuCharme, 1-2,2. C-Cooley, 1-2, 2-2, 4; Decker, 3-6, 2-2, 8; Dunn, 6-11, 3-3, 16; Espinosa, 1-6, 1-2, 3; McCarroll, 0-4, 5-6, 4; Mortensen, 7-16, 2-5, 16; Witten, 2-3, 0-1, 4; Archuleta 0-0, 1-2, 1; Lucia Muniz, 0-0 , 3-4, 3. Total turnovers, P-32, C-15.


Youth basketball: The story behind the program

By Cayce Brown

Staff Writer

The youth basketball season has come to a close.

Memories of the fun and excitement that took place during the annual tradition are still in the young competitors' minds and the constant chatter about who won what continues to echo in grade school classrooms.

One thing sometimes overlooked when kids and parents recall their experiences is the lengths the people behind the program go to in order to create such a memorable time for these young all-stars.

It all starts with Myles Gable, recreation supervisor in the Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department.

Even though this is Gable's first year in charge of the program, he was able to put together a successful season.

Gable coordinates all the sponsors, coaches and referees, and the additional volunteers needed to run the program.

Finding sponsors is easier than it would seem.

"Businesses come to the program very interested in helping the town's youth and the community," said Gable.

Sponsors are needed to keep the costs to parents and participants at a reasonable rate and to make sure no youngster is denied a chance to participate in the program.

Aside from the satisfaction that comes from taking part in the program, sponsors are also awarded a plaque featuring the name of the team they sponsor, and a team photo that includes all the players and coaches.

Besides donating money there are other ways people were able to help the program.

"Nearly all positions are volunteer, so it's great to see how many people are willing to give their time to this program," said Gable.

First, the coaches are required to attend a meeting that explains all the rules of the program and its expectations. Coaches are then given some practice time to teach the kids the basics of the game and the rules that the youth program uses.

Although the youth program makes use of all the high school rules, there are a few additional rules put in place to ensure that competitors enjoy their experiences.

Coaches teach the youngsters how to stay with other competitors, work on zone defense and pass the ball. Players are also taught not to double team or use a full-court press during youth basketball games.

Coaches give the young competitors direction during games and manage the time the players are in the game; in the youth basketball program, all players are given equal time on court.

During games, coaches also line up players of equal abilities to compete against each other, giving players of all abilities an opportunity to enjoy the game and learn its basics.

To make sure teams are not stacked with players who all have a high skill level, the program uses a draft system.

Before the season begins, participants attend a "tryout" where they demonstrate their abilities. They are then placed in a level with players with similar skills.

Starting from the players in the top bracket and working down, the players are assigned to teams.

This makes for a very even program; this year 85 percent of all games ended with a five point or less difference and there were several overtimes.

Besides coaches, referees and sponsors, the next largest group of supporters of the program are the parents.

It takes a large commitment on the parents' part to get children to the games and to support the young athletes.

Unlike the situation in high school sports, parents with children in the parks and recreation program are urged to root for all teams.

Prior to the season parents are given a letter titled "The Agony of Deparent" which addresses this issue and most have no problem understanding the concept; they not only encourage their own son or daughter but also the kids on opposing teams.

In the last week of the season, all nine teams in the 9-10 year-old division and the six teams in the 11-12 division were given a chance to compete in the playoffs.

When the last four teams in both divisions finished the playoffs, the young athletes were sad to see the season end.

The youth basketball program provides a great way for local youngsters to find outlets to express their desires to compete.

One benefit sometimes overlooked is the increase in self confidence kids achieve. To be able to have everyone in the gym cheer for them when they make a basket, or to look in the programs Gable prints out for parents and see their name in it, can do a lot to make young all-stars feel good about themselves.

"The youth basketball program isn't about winning or losing for us or any of the other people who help to run the program; it's about the kids having fun and that's all that matters to us at the end of the day," said Gable.



The worst, the best

A trip to Denver last week to the Colorado high school wrestling championships provided material for a meditation on sport, its place in our society and some of the misconceptions and errors attached to it. The juxtaposition of the tournament and the ongoing scandal at the University of Colorado involving its football program and a dubious cast of characters, produced two distinct perspectives on the phenomenon.

The university scandal allowed for insight into something deeper than the alleged actions of several young men at the university. We could not help but wonder, first, if similar activities as those alleged at CU don't occur in any number of big-time college programs on a too-frequent basis.

Is it not possible that one root cause of this problem, and these kinds of behaviors, is the manner in which colleges, and we the spectators, exaggerate the importance of the sport and its participants? Could part of the problem be that few officials in university programs - including sanctimonious chancellors and presidents who steer their ship only after it is aground - care about educating young athletes, especially football and basketball players? Is it fair to assume that many if not most football and basketball players at major universities are aware they are a commodity, the value of which is exhausted when eligibility and entertainment value expire?

How many university officials care about the qualities of the young men who play major sports, aside from their abilities as athletes? We repeat a maxim we hold true: Sport, contrary to cliché, does little to build character, and everything to reveal it. How many major college football programs are genuinely concerned about character? And how many moralistic university officials, so stern after the fact of a scandal, care enough about the good character of their student athletes to recruit character and enhance it?

Is it possible we've made college and professional sport too important, that we give too much adulation and wealth to a few athletes, and leave the vast majority, once they are finished, with little or nothing of value?

What can we reasonably expect when it comes to their behavior?

On the other hand, it was a treat to watch high school athletes give their all in a sport guaranteed not to lead to riches for participants- a demanding, unforgiving sport indulged solely for the love of the activity. This was sport as it should be.

It was wonderful to watch spectators from schools and small towns gather in the stands, there to lend loud support, to congratulate winners, to offer consolation to losers.

It was inspiring to watch a local boy, Michael Martinez, win his second state championship, and his fourth medal in state competition. Martinez is an unassuming, serious young man who overcame adversity both his championship years. Last year, he broke his ankle prior to wrestling season and came back, against all odds, to win. This year, his family's home burned to the ground during the season. He fought back, and won. His dedication and focus were astounding. His support - from family, friends, coaches - was profound.

He and his teammates pursued their sport as the thing in itself, with no money waiting at the end of an arduous journey, with scant fame as a reward. For only a few will wrestling continue once high school ends. Yet they worked, they made demands on themselves, they responded to demands; they fought, they hurt, they won, they lost. At the end of the day, each can evaluate himself and find a better person.

It's a shame we can't say this about all our athletes, in all our sports, at all levels. Would that we could; we would evidence a better, saner grip on myriad things.

Karl Isberg



Pacing Pagosa

Virtually without virtue or value

Virtual: "Being in essence or in effect though not formally recognized or admitted."

That definition from the Merriam Webster desktop dictionary does little to elucidate the current craze of virtual everything.

Television has created this misnomer market for things that aren't really real. That's another inaccuracy. Real is real. Unreal is descriptive of nothing, literally.

But, back to virtual - perhaps the reality category.

First, it must be assumed from the definition, that virtual means something that is an illusion.

For example, guys, just try sending your loved one a virtual present for Valentine's Day, an anniversary, or birthday. You can tell her it is "in essence" what you would have sent had it been affordable.

Good luck!

Are you ill? Need help?

How about sending your virtual body to the virtual hospital for a virtual cure of a virtual ailment.

Maybe, as a teacher, you want your students to get some hands-on education.

Let them take a virtual field trip. It will be one which they cannot exercise the senses of touch or smell. Virtual sound can be added and virtual presence by sight can be doctored to any sense of scene.

Some students may say they want to take virtual classes. Not real. Just illusory. But they probably would reject virtual grades, as being below their talents and educational abilities.

Now there is one area where virtual might have some benefit - virtual war. No deaths, no buildings destroyed, no infrastructure "virtually" demolished, no dictators physically taken from hiding holes below ground, no national treasures confiscated and sold off for illicit gains.

No, it would all be virtual, and that would include virtual victory. Of course, no one really wins because, by definition, virtual is not recognized or admitted.

The noted Webster (without Merriam) dictionary offers a slightly different definition for virtual, noting its relationship to the base word virtue. Webster defines virtual as "having the power of acting or of invisible efficacy without the agency of the material or sensible part thereof." Huh?

Let me stay with virtual.

It is, as we have seen, in essence or effect, but not in fact.

We could have virtual athletic teams playing virtual games with no winners and no losers because there are no realities of the contest.

School districts could have virtual CSAP tests to grade performance of virtual students in virtually mandated programs. They would, of course, need virtual funding from a virtual legislature but it wouldn't matter because virtually all the virtue of education would be invisible and unreal.

Virtual vehicles would prevent the carnage we see mounting annually on our roadways. Virtual life and virtual death would be the beginning and end for virtual humans.

And, this would be a virtual column.


Gift of Life

Generous community responds to ongoing need

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Sixty percent of the population will need blood or blood components sometime during their lives, according to some studies.

That's the demand.

The supply is running through the veins of healthy adults 17 and over.

It's up to organizations like United Blood Services to make supply meet demand. United Blood Services, a division of Blood Systems Inc., which provides blood products to 500 hospitals in 18 states, including Mercy Medical Center in Durango, is a nonprofit organization relying on volunteer donors to fill their blood banks.

Randy Hubbs, senior community relations representative, said United Blood Services sponsors two different types of mobile blood units - both of which appear in Pagosa Springs.

The first is the regular mobile run by United Blood Services. A team usually arrives the fourth Thursday of the month rotating between Mountain Heights Baptist Church and Community United Methodist Church. United Blood Services staff does all the recruitment and the advertising.

The second, is a mobile unit visit sponsored by a group or organization within the community. These have been done at the senior center, Head Start, Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, the high school and others. In this case, it's up to the sponsoring organization to recruit donors and publicize the event.

The high school's Future Business Leaders of America sponsored such a drive Feb. 12.

Roxanna Day, FBLA vice president, said the group is required to organize one community service project each year for state competition.

"Improving community living is part of our charter," FBLA sponsor Dorothy Christine said.

A blood drive was something the group tried three or four years ago and decided to revisit.

"I kind of wanted to do something kind of unique," Day said, "something different from the usual pick up trash thing."

Planning began in September. Volunteers from FBLA promoted the event with interesting facts about blood donations and sign-up tables at lunch.

Of course, there were a few last-minute dropouts, but at 9 a.m., the first student was ready to go.

Sierra Fleenor read carefully through all the required information. She'd never given blood before and was a bit nervous.

"I kinda decided I'll suck it up because it's for a good cause," she said. "I feel like if I can do something to help anyone I should and this is so simple."

It wasn't long before she was called in for the interview. The interview is the first step before any blood draw can be done. Prospective donors are asked about 50 questions regarding medical history and current health. Questions are regulated by the Federal Drug Administration and change with the onslaught of new diseases that could affect the blood. United Blood Services staff check each donor's medical temperature, blood pressure, pulse and blood iron level to ensure both the safety of the donor and the safety of the blood supply. Each unit of blood is also tested. In fact, it takes about 48 hours after a donation for the blood to become usable.

According to the United Blood Services Web site, to give blood, a person must weigh at least 110 pounds and wait at least eight weeks between donations.

People can not donate if they:

- have cold or flu symptoms on the day of donation or do not feel well

- have ever used a needle to take nonprescription drugs

- had hepatitis after the age of 11

- ever had a positive hepatitis B or C test

- are at risk of catching or spreading the AIDS virus.

Donors must show identification containing a legal name and date of birth, Social Security number, United Blood Services assigned donor number or a photo of the donor.

Fleenor came through the interview process with flying colors. She returned to the band room where the blood draws were being made and asked the Blood Services staff for advice on which vein to use. After a little discussion, she went to a chair to start the process.

Counselor Lisa Hudson sat next to Fleenor to offer moral support. She was also planning to give blood - after a 15-year hiatus.

The first time Hudson gave, she was in high school. "They missed the vein and I was bruised from wrist to elbow." This year she was ready to try again.

"It went great," Hudson said, "although I think the woman who was doing it was sweating bullets."

Hudson left without a mark except the feeling of doing something good for the community.

Hubbs, of United Blood Services, said the service was founded in 1943 as the Salt River Valley Blood Bank in Phoenix, Ariz. In the late '50s or early '60s, the blood bank expanded into Albuquerque and mobile blood drives reached into Colorado. Twenty-four years ago, a satellite center was opened in Durango to serve the Four Corners region which included - eastern Utah, northern Arizona, Southern Colorado - and for a long time Northern New Mexico. Five years ago, Hubbs said, a center opened in Farmington, relieving some of that pressure.

To put it in perspective, Hubbs said, United Blood Services, as the second largest nonprofit blood providers in the United States, of which the Durango office is one part, is responsible for about a million blood draws every year. Seventy to 75,000 of those are taken in Albuquerque. About 8,000 are done in Durango, and about 350 units of blood were drawn in Pagosa Springs last year.

"About 6 percent of our total blood draw is done here locally," Hubbs said.

Either whole, or broken down into its parts, blood is used to save lives. According to some examples on the United Blood Services Web site, red blood cells can be used to help those with anemia, platelets are used to fight leukemia and cancer and plasma helps patients with blood clotting disorders.

Today, donors have the opportunity to give whole blood or a double red cell donation. In a double red cell donation, the red blood cells are removed in a way that allows the donor to keep the platelets and plasma. The donor is also hydrated with saline. This allows for the collection of four units of packed red cells instead of two, double the normal donation. Certain body size restrictions do apply.

The next opportunity to donate blood in Pagosa Springs is today, from 2-6 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street. Appointments are taken before walk-ins. For more information on United Blood Services or scheduled drives in the area or check www.unitedbloodservices.org.


Pagosa's Past

Aspaas family important to early area cattle raising

John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

During pioneer times, Pagosa Country and the Four Corners area was a melting pot, settled by folks whose family tree roots tapped divergent soils all over the world.

The amazing thing is, no matter where these pioneers came from, they adapted to the topography, climate and means of making a living offered by their new home.

Hans Aspaas and his wife were no exception. In 1863, they left home in Norway, searching for a new life. Educated folks, they spoke some English, even before crossing the Atlantic. He was 35 and had been a cavalry lieutenant in the Norwegian army.

By 1869, they were living in Denver. In 1874, with 3-month-old Hans Jr. and friends Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Harwood with a 2- or 3-year-old child, they joined a wagon train that passed through Del Norte and Wagon Wheel Gap; then followed the headwaters of the Rio Grande River up to Stony Pass and down the other side to Howardsville near Silverton. Mrs. Aspaas walked much of the way carrying little Hans.

From Howardsville they moved downstream to Baker's Park, where big changes were underway.

The La Plata Miner of Dec. 30, 1882 recalled, "in the season of 1873 the town site of Silverton had been selected and in the spring of 1874, surveys were made." At that location, the Aspaas family found perhaps 100 people and 25 cabins.

The snow that winter was deep enough to cover the little log cabins. The men dug tunnels from cabin to cabin. Mr. Aspaas, being an expert on skis, made three or four trips to Del Norte, returning with the mail and what supplies of sugar and coffee and such as he could carry on his back.

In the spring of 1875, the Aspaas family followed the old Indian trail, barely passable for wagons, to the lower Animas Valley where they claimed a 160-acre homestead. In the fall of 1875, they moved to Parrott City, the county seat, but in 1876 they returned to the Animas Valley homestead.

In 1879, Aspaas traded his ranch to John Reid for cattle. The cattle were fattened on the fine grass in Hermosa Park. When the mining boom in Rico resulted in a development of a road between Hermosa Park and Rico for a couple of years, the Aspaas family ran a stage stop in Hermosa Park. Hermosa Park provided a fine summer range for cattle. They then moved to Animas City and in 1882 homesteaded a quarter section of land about a mile south of Fort Lewis when that establishment was over near Hesperus.

During the mid-1880s, Aspaas carried mail between Fort Lewis and Parrott City. Nine-year-old Hans Aspaas Jr. witnessed a shooting in Parrott City in 1883 during which Cherokee Bill, reputed to be a tough citizen, killed a dog belonging to B. Riley. The big dog was said to be half bear. The enraged Riley went after Cherokee Bill, no small challenge, since Riley had a reputation as an outlaw and horse thief. As Riley came into the store through the front door Cherokee Bill entered through the back door. Both fired. Cherokee took a bullet in the stomach and died a few hours later. Riley was grazed on the head, but with the help of a Fort Lewis doctor, pulled through.

Riley and a fellow named Lewis were credited with stealing a horse from the Post Trader at Fort Lewis and beating it out of the country.

Aspaas died in 1891 and was buried in the Fort Lewis cemetery.

Another pioneer, Samuel Ent, came to Parrott City in the late 1870s because he heard it was a good place to raise cattle. It was said the grass on the unfenced ranges touched the horse's bellies. His wife had been a native of Texas.

Founded because of supposed great quantities of gold nearby, Parrott City was located where the La Plata River breaks out of the mountains a little west of Durango. Parrott City didn't last long. There wasn't much gold.

Early pictures of Parrott City show it as a town encircled by towering mountains. Main Street dead-ended into the town's only two-story building, the county courthouse. A candle lit on the second floor of the courthouse could be seen for the full length of Main Street. For the women, the shining candle was an imperative summons to report to the dance floor. Due to the scarcity of dancing partners, the men stood in line waiting their turn. The dances were held in the court room on the second floor because it was safe from Tom Nance, one of the desperados of the country who had a bad habit of riding into the lower floors of the building and shooting up the place.

One story recalls the time a murder trial was being held and the jury deliberated beyond the time the dance was supposed to commence. When the verdict was ready, the judge asked the couples on the floor for a few minutes silence while the guilty verdict was read. The guilty prisoner was soon led away and the dance continued.

The Ents moved from Parrott City to Animas City in 1881 and down to the La Plata River in New Mexico in 1885. Daughter Mattie Ent married Charles Heather in 1900. He was the youngest of four brothers whose father, James Heather, came to Conejos County from Arkansas in 1879. Here the father took charge of the toll gate on the Archuleta toll road over Cumbres Pass. He hired out several teams of horses used in the construction of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad over Cumbres Pass. When the railroad went into winter quarters at Amargo before completing the track, the family moved to Durango, arriving early in 1880.

More next week on cattle raising when the San Juan Basin was being settled.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Feb. 27, 1914

The new "Crescent" theatre, with Frank Henderson as proprietor and manager, to be opened at the old Rex location in the Archuleta building, will be ready for business some time next week. A monster electric piano will furnish the music which will be well worth the insignificant 10 cent admission charge to hear, to say nothing of the splendid moving photoplays projected by one of the latest improved $400 absolutely flickerless machines.

Last Tuesday the house of Ray Chambers on his ranch in the Blanco Basin, including the contents, was totally destroyed by fire, the loss amounting to about $1,000 with no insurance. No details are at hand concerning the origin of the fire.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 1, 1929

E.M. (Doc) Taylor is the new Archuleta County agent for all new Ford cars and trucks. Watch for his future announcements.

Lorne Snook gave a soap bubble party to fourteen fourth grade classmates on his birthday yesterday at the home of his sister, Mrs. Wm. Schoonover. A two-course lunch was enjoyed by all.

Several reliable citizens of this community insist that about three o'clock this morning they distinctly felt an earthquake tremor that not only shook their beds but their houses as well.

Charles Loucks of Pagosa Springs, who went to the northwest last fall, is now employed in the editorial department of the Spokane, Wash. Press.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 26, 1954

The editor is in Denver this weekend attending the annual convention of the Colorado Press Association, just to see how other editors manage to make ends meet and perhaps pick up a few pointers on ways of making this a better paper.

The oil rig on Carracas mesa has shut down since drilling is completed. The crew is unable to move the rig due to bad roads.

According to the town clerk a petition with sufficient signatures has been filed at the town hall thus insuring that a town election will be held this year. This makes it important that all persons either register or check to see that they are already registered. This is the only way that the voice of the people can be heard.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 1, 1979

Snow the past week has made it certain that this will be a winter when more than 600 inches of snow falls on Wolf Creek Pass. Total snowfall through Tuesday morning of this week for this winter was 576 inches. This is a near record for this date. More than 600 inches of snow fell during the winter of 1972-73, when the total fall was 619 inches; the winter of 1964-65, when 603 inches fell; and in 1974-75, 801 inches fell during the winter.

Mr. and Mrs. H. Ray Macht recently returned form a tour of Australia and New Zealand sponsored by Farm Journal Magazine. The agriculturally oriented trip included a visit to the "Outback Country" in the heart of Australia's vast sheep and cattle raising region.




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Area forecast suggests winter storm looms

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Will a potential winter storm descending from the Pacific Northwest slam shut the midweek window of sunshine that graced Pagosa Country for the past 36 hours?

The answer, according to the latest forecasts for the Four Corners region from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, is an almost-definite "yes."

A weather alert posted for southwest Colorado late yesterday indicated "a strong, moist cold front will reach western Colorado (tonight); snow will increase in the mountains during the evening and into Friday with rain in the valleys."

In addition, "Strong wind gusts and significant accumulations are expected to occur, especially over mountain passes and exposed areas, causing extended periods of poor visibility."

While snow showers may dissipate through the afternoon Friday, the report concludes "a secondary weather system will bring an increasing chance of mixed rain and snow Friday night and Saturday, with scattered snow showers expected to continue in the mountains Sunday."

According to the advisory, increasing clouds and snow showers are anticipated throughout today and into tonight, winds in the 15-25 miles per hour range, highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s.

The forecast for Friday through Saturday night predicts a 60-percent chance for snow, possibly heavy at times, breezy conditions, highs in the 40s and lows in the teens.

Sunday through Tuesday calls for mostly-cloudy skies, a 30-percent chance for scattered snow showers, highs in the 35-45 range and lows around 20.

The snow chance falls to 20 percent for Wednesday; highs are predicted in the upper 30s while lows should dip to near 10.

The average high temperature recorded last week at the Fred Harman Art Museum was 28 degrees. The average low was 16. Snowfall totals for the week were not available at press time.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 119 inches, a midway depth of 112 inches and a year-to-date snowfall total of 326 inches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "considerable" on all aspects and elevations.

Recent reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture describe regional drought conditions as "moderate."

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan River Basin is 111 percent of average.

San Juan River flow south of town ranged from approximately 45 cubic feet per second to 65 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of Feb. 26 is roughly 60 cubic feet per second.